“If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” might well be Jumanji: The Next Level
director Jake Kasdan’s moto as he basically regurgitates events and
characters from “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”.
“Jumanji: The Next Level” is as much a remake of its predecessor as it is a
sequel with only a few new characters added in an attempt to give it some
The story sees Spencer (Alex Wolff) struggling at college in New York City
and longing for the excitement he felt in the Jumanji Game where he played
Dr Bravestone. Returning home for the holidays Spencer is forced to share a
room with his grandfather Eddie (Danny DeVito) who is recovering from
surgery. Longing to continue his adventure in Jumanji, Spencer sorts the
old video game console and subsequently disappears from the house. This
leads to Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain), Martha (Morgan Turner) and Bethany
(Madison Iseman) deciding to return to Jumanji to save him. Unfortunately
the transfer doesn’t go as planned and Eddie and his onetime business
partner, Milo (Danny Glover) also make the journey to Jumanji with Fridge
and Martha. Bethany for some reason that is never fully explained fails to
make the transfer and is left back in the real world.
Once in Jumanji with the exception of Martha who has returned once again as
Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan) all the rest end up in different bodies and
as different avatars, Grandfather Eddie becomes Dr Smolder Bravestone
(Dwayne Johnson), Milo is Franklin “Mouse” Finbar (Kevin Hart) and Fridge
becomes Sheldon “Shelly” Oberon (Jack Black).
The objective that the team is given, which if completed successfully will
allow them to return home, sees them having to retrieve the Falcon Jewel
from a ruthless warlord called Jurgen the Brutal (Rory McCann). Along the
way, as they complete various tasks, they also have the small matter of
trying to find Spencer.
Director Jake Kasdan does attempt to freshen things up with some fantastic
set pieces, the team have to escape hordes of mandrill apes that attack
them as their trying to cross swing bridges, and some additional
characters, Awkwafina turns up as Ming Fleetwood a new avatar who
specialises in burglary, pick-pocketing and lock-picking, but on the whole
“Jumanji: The Next Level” feels a bit like a reheated dinner, and your
enjoyment will more than likely depend on how much you enjoyed the original
If you enjoyed “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” there’s no reason why you
shouldn’t enjoy “The Next Level” however if you’re not a fan there’s
nothing here that’s going to convert you.